Weekend points: Making sense of Sydney

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 19/07/2020
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Supercars legend Mark Skaife has led calls for a return to recognising an overall round winner, following a chaotic Truck Assist Sydney SuperSprint.

Under a new format debuted this weekend, each driver had two sets of soft tyres and three sets of hards to spread across three 32-lap pitstop races.

WATCH: TOP THREE CELEBRATE BREAKTHROUGH RESULTS IN SYDNEY FINALE

While running both compounds at once remained prohibited, teams otherwise had free rein on how they deployed the tyres, leading to vastly diverging strategies.

Regular frontrunners like Shell V-Power Racing and the Red Bull Holden Racing Team spread their softs out over two or even three races to maximise their overall points haul.

However, many others used both soft sets in a single race, including all three that finished on the podium in the final heat; Jack Le Brocq, Andre Heimgartner and Todd Hazelwood.

The top three on overall points for the weekend were Scott McLaughlin, Nick Percat and Fabian Coulthard, who finished 14th, 11th and 13th in the final race respectively.

Shane van Gisbergen was meanwhile fourth overall, despite having a relatively unseen run from 22nd to 12th on Sunday afternoon.

Supercars moved away from recognising an overall round winner and podium placegetters in 2009, instead putting an emphasis on the individual races.  

Five-time Supercars champion-turned-commentator Skaife believes the nature of the format debuted in Sydney means that strategy needs a rethink.

“The winner of the weekend is the crucial part,” he said.

“It was great to see three young blokes on the podium at the end, but when the biggest audience is captured on a Sunday afternoon I want to know who won the weekend.

“We should have a proper podium to celebrate the winner of the weekend.”

Asked about the legitimacy of race wins under the format, Skaife added: “If you take it across the span of the weekend, everyone has to make a pre-determined strategy and actually understand how you get the best from your weekend, so that’s ok.

“There are times when people put all their eggs in one basket and get a result, but it’s slightly false if you don’t actually say what is the real charter of the weekend?

“The real charter is who won [across] the three races and that was Scott.”

Further analysing the format, Skaife echoed Scott McLaughlin’s opinion that the Top 15 Shootout should be a level-playing field, while also noting issues in communicating the tyre strategies to fans.

“We need to be able to explain what tyres are on the car at the time and how many kilometres those tyres have done throughout the course of the weekend, so that if you’re in your lounge room you actually understand what’s going on,” he said.

“That’s a very hard sell at the moment in terms of what tyres are on the car at what time.”

Truck Assist Sydney SuperSprint round points

1. Scott McLaughlin - 228

2. Nick Percat - 204

3. Fabian Coulthard - 200

4. Shane van Gisbergen - 186

5. Chaz Mostert - 178

6. Jack Le Brocq - 176

7. Andre Heimgartner - 174

8. David Reynolds - 170

9. Jamie Whincup - 170

10. Lee Holdsworth - 164

11. Anton De Pasquale - 162

12. Mark Winterbottom - 162

13. Todd Hazelwood - 160

14. Cameron Waters - 158

15. James Courtney - 150

16. Scott Pye - 148

17. Bryce Fullwood - 144

18. Rick Kelly - 138

19. Garry Jacobson - 112

20. Macauley Jones - 110

21. Jack Smith - 104

22. Zane Goddard - 96

23. Chris Pither - 88

24. Alex Davison - 84

Related Content
Stay In The Know
Sign up to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Newsletter